Working with communities to prepare for disasters and reduce their impact.

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Disaster preparedness refers to measures taken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters. That is, to predict and, where possible, prevent disasters, mitigate their impact on vulnerable populations, and respond to and effectively cope with their consequences.

Disaster preparedness provides a platform to design effective, realistic and coordinated planning, reduces duplication of efforts and increase the overall effectiveness of National Societies, household and community members disaster preparedness and response efforts. Disaster preparedness activities embedded with risk reduction measures can prevent disaster situations and also result in saving maximum lives and livelihoods during any disaster situation, enabling the affected population to get back to normalcy within a short time period.

Disaster preparedness is a continuous and integrated process resulting from a wide range of risk reduction activities and resources rather than from a distinct sectoral activity by itself. It requires the contributions of many different areas—ranging from training and logistics, to health care, recovery, livelihood to institutional development.

Reducing risks

Vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA)

Disaster preparedness tools

Recent additions to the resources library


In terms of natural hazards and their impact, 2008 was one of the most devastating years. While hazards are largely unavoidable, especially with the growing threat of climate change, they only become disasters when communities’ coping mechanisms are exceeded and they are unable to manage their impacts.

18 December 2017

The signs of our vulnerability to urban risk are everywhere. An earthquake can bring hospitals, schools and homes tumbling down with unspeakably tragic consequences.

18 December 2017

This year, the World Disasters Report takes on a challenging theme that looks at different aspects of how culture affects disaster risk reduction (DRR) and how disasters and risk influence culture.

18 December 2017

News stories

The Colombian Red Cross Guajira branch has worked in more than 110 indigenous communities, contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of families.

8 February 2018

The Global Disaster Law team is pleased to announce some exciting news for our fellow disaster law enthusiasts: the launch of a new online learning module on law and disaster risk reduction! This learning module provides an interactive way to learn abo …

1 February 2018

Guatemalan Red Cross, with the support of Norwegian Red Cross, trained 476 people through the “Community Resilience Project” with the aim of increasing their resilience to disasters.

29 August 2017

Thanks to the efforts of Red Cross staff and volunteers working closely with local communities, more than one million seedlings have been planted across three countries in Indonesia including Aceh, central Java and West Nusa Tenggara, where there is a high risk of disasters such as tsunamis, floods and landslides.

1 August 2017